CAPTEM (Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials)
CAPTEM Home Page
Requesting Lunar Samples
Requesting Meteorite Samples
Requesting Cosmic Dust Samples
Requesting Stardust Samples
Requesting Asteroid (Including Hayabusa) Samples
Requesting Genesis Samples
Summary of CAPTEM Meetings
Astromaterials Curation page at NASA Johnson Space Center
Lunar List Server
Publications and Documents
Public Displays of Apollo Samples
Links of Interest
CAPTEM Analysis
Lunar Sample Acquisition and Curation Review
CAPTEM Internal Link
Mars Sample Return
SMD PSD Nuggets

CAPTEM Charter

January 1, 2018

The Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials (CAPTEM) serves two functions. 1) It is a community-based, interdisciplinary forum for discussion and analysis of matters concerning the collection and curation of extraterrestrial samples, including planning future sample return missions.  In this role, CAPTEM also supports human exploration objectives and their implications for architecture planning and activity prioritization for future exploration of planetary surfaces.  2) It is a standing review panel, charged with evaluating proposals requesting allocation of all extraterrestrial samples contained in NASA collections. Such proposals are solicited by the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office. Committee findings are provided to the JSC Curator via the NASA Headquarters Discipline Scientist (DS) charged with oversight of JSC curation activities.

Committee structure:
The members of CAPTEM shall include a chair and up to 12 regular, voting members.  One of the regular CAPTEM members shall be selected by the chair to serve as vice-chair, who will preside over the committee in the event that the chair must be absent from a meeting or is conflicted on a specific matter.  CAPTEM shall also include a non-voting Secretary, who records the minutes of CAPTEM meetings, maintains the CAPTEM website, and responds to external inquiries.  Membership in CAPTEM is open to all qualified scientists, without regard to nationality. However, curators of astromaterials collections at JSC and their staff are not eligible to be chair, regular members, or subcommittee members.

CAPTEM will form standing allocation subcommittees, each responsible for one or more of the NASA collections of extraterrestrial samples under CAPTEM purview.  These committees shall each be chaired by a regular, voting member of CAPTEM, and may contain any number of members, including other CAPTEM members, or experts from outside CAPTEM.  Allocation subcommittees review all requests for sample allocation, but may also do analysis on issues related to curation of their particular collection(s).  The allocation subcommittee chairs report their review findings to the Astromaterials Curator and the Curator of the relevant collection; they report their analysis findings to the

CAPTEM chair.
In its role as an analysis group, CAPTEM may also organize ad hoc or standing subcommittees to address specific issues.  These committees report findings to the CAPTEM chair. These subcommittees may be chaired either by regular CAPTEM members or by experts from outside CAPTEM.

Membership and terms:
All members of CAPTEM, including the chair and secretary, plus all members of subcommittees, serve three-year, renewable terms.

One year prior to the expiration of the current chair’s term, CAPTEM shall consider the appointment of its next chair.  Nominations may be made by the current chair or regular CAPTEM members, and the selection of the chair-elect shall require a majority vote.  The chair-elect shall serve as a non-voting CAPTEM member, ex officio, until the start of his/her term as chair.  If the chair-elect is a current member of CAPTEM, then they shall continue in that role until their term as chair commences.

CAPTEM regular members who are to serve as allocation subcommittee chairs shall be nominated by the CAPTEM chair, in consultation with the Astromaterials Curator and the allocation subcommittee in question.  Concurrence of the NASA Headquarters DS is required for these appointments, regardless of whether the nominee is starting a new term on CAPTEM, or is a current member of CAPTEM being nominated to fill the role of allocation subcommittee chair.

CAPTEM regular members other than those who are to serve as allocation subcommittee chairs may be nominated by any voting member of CAPTEM, and selection shall require a majority vote.

Membership on an allocation subcommittee shall be determined by the subcommittee chair, in consultation with other members of the subcommittee and the CAPTEM Chair, with concurrence of the Headquarters DS. Membership on other subcommittees shall be determined by the subcommittee chairs, in consultation with the CAPTEM chair.

CAPTEM will meet semi-annually or as otherwise needed to carry out its functions.  Meetings may be in person or electronic.  Allocation subcommittees may meet independently of CAPTEM and may be convened at the request of the Headquarters DS.
CAPTEM’s scope:

The ongoing tasks of CAPTEM include the following:

  • provide peer review of requests for extraterrestrial samples;
  • provide technical assessment for all aspects of curation of extraterrestrial materials at Johnson Space Center;
  • act as a resource that can be used by approved NASA sample-return missions;
  • provide input to plans for construction and equipping of appropriate curatorial facilities to prevent contamination with terrestrial materials and potential cross-contamination of extra-terrestrial materials;
  • sponsor workshops and studies relevant to sample return and sample science.

In the performance of these ongoing tasks, CAPTEM may coordinate with the Director of the Planetary Science Division of SMD, the Headquarters DS, and the JSC Curator.

Appendices to CAPTEM Charter
These describe how each Subcommittee makes its findings.

Asteroid Returned Samples Subcommittee
Cosmic Dust Subcommittee
Facilities Subcommittee
Genesis Subcommittee
Informatics Subcommittee
Lunar Sample Subcommittee
Stardust Subcommittee

MWG Charter

CAPTEM Minutes

CAPTEM-Spring 2018

CAPTEM Minutes, Fall 2017 (PDF)

CAPTEM Minutes, Spring 2017 (PDF)

CAPTEM Minutes, Fall 2016

CAPTEM Minutes, Spring 2016

CAPTEM Minutes, October 26, 2015

CAPTEM Spring 2015 Summary (PDF)

CAPTEM Fall 2014 Summary (PDF)

Feedback or suggestions for how to provide more meaningful feedback to CAPTEM are welcome (see feedback link below).

CAPTEM Feedback

Apollo 17 orange soil 74220
Apollo 17 troctolite 76535
ALH 84001 carbonate mineral globules
Cosmic Dust Grain
Apollo 17
orange soil 74220
Apollo 17
troctolite 76535
ALH 84001
carbonate mineral globules
Cosmic dust grain

Mars Sample Return

Mars Sample Return


Last updated
April 9, 2018